Things obviously did not end well for Jamie Collins in New England when he was traded to the Browns at the trade deadline in 2016 for a compensatory pick. At the time of the trade he was deemed a “freelancer” by Bill Belichick’s close friend Mike Lombardi.
Now, almost two-and-a-half years later, Collins has been released by the Browns as they save $10.5 million against the cap. In 30 games with Cleveland, he totaled 204 tackles and seven sacks, including 104 tackles and four sacks this past season.
Some might say given how things ended in New England he has zero shot of returning, but never say never.
The Patriots discussed trading for Collins internally at the trade deadline last year, so if they did then what would be different a few months later? Collins wouldn’t be used the same way he was a few years ago. If brought back he would be more a role player and not be asked to do a number of things like he once was.
With Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts and Ja’Whaun Bentley under contract for 2019, there doesn’t appear to be a glaring need, but let’s just say he was only worth a one-year deal with short money, why not take another shot? Belichick is a master of collecting talent and then figuring out how to use them later.
A reunion seems unlikely, but given the interest last year, it shouldn’t be completely dismissed.